In a world where companies operate on a global level and commerce is expanding way beyond administrative borders, international ISO standards are needed to bring the same levels of quality across the industries, no matter where a company operates.
What Are ISO Standards?
Created and developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation, the ISO certifications commit to ensuring that, no matter where you get your products and services from, or who you entrust your informational data with, they will guarantee a certain standard of quality or security, as long as they are certified to ISO international standards.
ISO, the organisation developing standards for the global industries, doesn’t give certifications. Third-party, often accredited entities called certification bodies are able to give this status to companies after auditing them and comparing their quality processes with ISO standards.
How can a set of guidelines apply to such immensely diverse environments like the business and industry ones? ISO quality management standards are defined through general ideas and terms, in order to apply to several types of organisations. Companies and industries that felt the need for more specific sets of rules have developed their own standards, basing them on the ISO guidelines.
Being deemed as compliant after the first audit doesn’t give you a permanent status as an ISO-certified company. Audits and evaluations are performed regularly, in order to make sure that the standard for quality is maintained in time and your business can sustain it.
The Most Well-Known Certification: ISO 9001
The best known ISO certification is ISO 9001, which refers to implementing quality standards when it comes to products and services being sold to customers. It’s part of the ISO 9000 family of standard sets, which all refer to quality management.
You can see many types of companies being ISO 9001 certified, from small vendors to huge, multinational companies. There was a myth surrounding ISO certifications that stated how only big companies can have access to these certifications. But it remains just a myth.
You often see this certification defined as “ISO 9001:2015 certification”. What does that mean? ISO standards have been updated over time to include more specifications, perfect the processes, and refresh the wording wherever needed. These international standards are under continual improvement. 9001:2015 is the last version of the ISO 9001 quality standard certification, which comes after the ISO 9001:2008 one.
Implementing ISO 9001 standards means constantly being aware of the company’s weak points and trying to make improvements so that the quality of the products and services not only remains constant but is able to improve over time. In some industries, companies are required to be ISO 9001 certified in order to meet customer satisfaction and industry standards.
For example, in the food industry, safety and quality management systems are crucial in ensuring that the products leaving the factories are fit for consumption. Food safety is one of the most important applications of the ISO standards and ensures that even products shipped from overseas are safe for consumption.
Other ISO Certifications You Might Know About
Besides the 9000 family of quality standards, ISO has developed numerous other types of standards that develop procedures for other aspects of a company’s activity.
This family of ISO standards deals with the environmental responsibility each company has in the wake of a fragile future for our planet. Compliant companies send a message to their customers and business partners that they take interest in protecting the environment and they are not only keeping their impact low, but they are constantly committed to improving that performance.
Information security management systems fall under the ISO 27001 certification. These sets of standards dictate how a company should collect, handle and protect the data of its employees, customers, business partners, etc.
Cyber security is taken extremely seriously in today’s risk-based business environment, and such certification does raise the trust level in your company and brand.
Need to Get ISO Certified?
If you want to get ISO certified, choosing the right certification body is part of the strategy. Best Practice Biz is a company with a lot of experience in Australia and worldwide, providing training and certification to companies everywhere.
If you are interested in getting ISO certified, make sure you are adapting the ISO regulations to your existing process, because there is no use to revolutionise your whole system when parts of it already work.
Get in touch with an experienced auditor and see what you can improve in order to get that wanted ISO certification.